Did you know that fiber is more than just the key to a happy digestive system? It turns out that fiber is also a powerful ally in maintaining a healthy heart. Unfortunately, most American adults are failing to get the recommended daily fiber intake of 21 to 25 grams for women and 30 to 38 grams for men.
The good news is that it’s never too late to reap the benefits of boosting fiber intake, and it can protect your heart in the process. At CA Heart and Vein Institute in Huntington Beach, California, your heart health is a top priority for cardiovascular physician Dr. Majed Chane. Getting enough fiber is part of a heart healthy diet, and it’s something you can do right now for your heart.
In this blog post, our team delves into the link between fiber and heart health and how you can harness the benefits of fiber to support a strong, healthy heart.
There are two types of fiber found in the diet: soluble and insoluble. Most plant foods contain both types of fiber in varying ratios. Both are essential for overall health, but they play different roles in supporting heart health.
When you eat soluble fiber, it dissolves and forms a gel-like substance in your digestive system. This gel helps lower harmful cholesterol (LDL) levels by binding to it in the intestines, preventing it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. As a result, soluble fiber helps keep your arteries clear and reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Unlike soluble fiber, insoluble fiber remains intact as it moves through your digestive system. While it doesn't directly impact heart health, it aids in digestion and can help you maintain a healthy weight — and doing so lowers your risk of developing heart disease.
Numerous studies have found a strong link between fiber intake and heart health. A higher intake of dietary fiber is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
It’s also linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases in general. Every additional 10 grams of fiber consumed daily reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular-related death.
Additionally, a fiber-rich diet lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which is an essential part of preventing heart disease.
Try these tips to help you boost your fiber intake:
Opt for whole grains like oats, quinoa, barley, and brown rice, which are packed with heart-healthy fiber. Also, include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and legumes in your diet.
Almonds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are excellent sources of fiber. Sprinkle them on your morning oatmeal, toss them into a salad, or enjoy them as a snack.
Start your day with a fiber-packed meal, like a bowl of oatmeal topped with berries or whole-grain toast with avocado and tomato slices.
When shopping for packaged foods, look for those with high fiber content. Aim for at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
While fiber is essential for heart health, overdoing it can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort. Gradually increase your fiber intake and drink plenty of water to help ease digestion.
The connection between fiber and heart health is undeniable. By incorporating fiber-rich foods into your daily diet, you support a healthy digestive system and also promote a strong, healthy heart.
The CA Heart and Vein Specialists team is here for all of your heart health needs. To get started, call our Huntington Beach, California, office to schedule a visit with Dr. Chane, or request an appointment online. Start embracing the fantastic fiber-heart health connection today!